A woman in New York has pleaded guilty to a first-degree manslaughter charge after fatally shoving an 87-year-old Broadway vocal coach. Lauren Pazienza will be sentenced to eight years in prison and five years of supervision after her release, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. The incident occurred on March 10, 2022, when Pazienza pushed Barbara Gustern to the ground, causing her to fall on her head. Gustern was rushed to the hospital but later died from a “massive hemorrhage” to her brain. Pazienza walked away from the scene while Gustern was bleeding from her head.
Barbara Gustern was a well-known musical theater performer and vocal coach, described as a talented individual who touched many lives in New York City and beyond. Eyewitnesses called emergency services, and Gustern was taken to the hospital, where she later became unconscious and was ultimately removed from life support five days later. The attack seemingly had no apparent reason, according to a criminal complaint. Following the incident, Pazienza deleted her social media accounts, took down her wedding website, and left for Long Island to stay with family. Pazienza’s sentencing is scheduled for September 29, 2022.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., stated that Pazienza will be held accountable for her deadly actions and emphasized that her aggressive behavior caused Gustern’s tragic death. The DA’s office described the incident in a news release, detailing how Pazienza intentionally shoved Gustern to the ground before walking away. CNN reached out to Pazienza’s attorney for comment, but no response has been received. Previously, when Pazienza was released on bail, her attorney expressed relief and offered condolences to Gustern’s family.